Sprint queen Thompson trumps rivals, again

Zurich, September 2

Jamaica’s sprint queen Elaine Thompson again edged her rivals as she set a Diamond League record in the women’s 200 metres on Thursday to continue the form that brought her two gold medals at last month’s Rio Olympics.

Thompson came home in 21.85 seconds to beat Dutch world champion Dafne Schippers and evergreen American Allyson Felix in hot conditions as the final Diamond League places in 16 different events were decided in the Swiss city.

Schippers ran her best time this season but was still one hundredth of a second behind Thompson with Felix third in 22.02. “I’ve not been home since Rio and I’m longing to get back to Jamaica,” said Thompson, who will first run in Brussels on September 9 before heading home.

Kenyan-born teenager Ruth Jebet, who won Bahrain’s first-ever Olympic gold medal, was far off the 3,000m steeplechase world record she set in Paris on Saturday but still romped home in 9.07.00 in front of a capacity crowd at the Letzigrund.

South Africa’s Caster Semenya continued her dominance in the women’s 800m in 1.56.44 in a race that had every finalist from Rio in the field and repeated the podium places with Francine Niyonsaba (Burundi) and Margaret Wambui (Kenya) second and third.

Renaud Lavillenie gained a measure of revenge for defeat in the Olympic men’s pole vault final by becoming the first athlete to win the Diamond Race trophy for a seventh consecutive time.

The Frenchman shared first place with American Sam Kendricks after both cleared 5.90 metres with Olympic champion Thiago da Silva withdrawing after going over at 5.84.

Asafa Powell, 33, again ran under 10sec to win the men’s 100m in 9.94, while Kendra Harrison was the women’s 100m hurdles winner, having set a world record in London in July after failing to qualify for the US Olympic team.